Missouri and Montana have many connections. They share a river. The arch is a symbol as the Gateway to the West; Montana is one of the end destinations of said gateway. Historic and geographic connections can be made all over the place. For Ram fans, these connections have been made within the organization. The St. Louis Rams employ four former Montana Grizzly football players. The first being a coach, Brandon Fisher (son of Jeff), the other three being players; Trumaine Johnson, Chase Reynolds and Caleb McSurdy.
Though this connection may be small, it has to be pointed out that the Rams are aware of the perennial power house of the FCS. All four of the above former players played together and Jeff Fisher saw most of them play on a regular basis. Not only have the Rams taken notice but teams like the Falcons, (Kroy Beirmann), Miami Dolphins (Jimmy Smith & Dan Carpenter), Tennessee Titans (Marc Mariani), have also had success drafting and or signing Montana Grizzlies.
Now that it is officially the offseason, I would like to mention a few names as we head into the Shrine game, Senior bowl and combine/regional combine.
Danny Kistler Jr.-RT
Brock Coyle- MLB
Jordan Tripp-LB-Defensive Weapon
I will wait to give you a breakdown of each of these players after we get done with Senior bowl activities, but for a quick point of reference I will shine some light on each.
Danny Kistler Jr- Monster Right Tackle 6-8". Sound in both run and pass games. Violent punch and has the feet of a ballerina. Coached by former NFL stud Scott Gragg.
William Poehls- Another specimen 6-7"- Short arms but is a mauler in the run game.
Brock Coyle- A more athletic version of Caleb McSurdy- Thick linebacker who is not afraid to stick his nose in a A gap. QB of the defense.
Jordan Tripp- Probably the most intriguing prospect. Local Missoulian kid and fan favorite. 6-3" 245 with the frame to add more bulk. He literally played all 11 positions on defense throughout his 4.5 years at school. Work ethic and drive to be great-Rangy, instinctive specimen. Can be coached up to break bad habits (hard angles), wrecklessness. I have watched this kid since PeeWee….He can be a more athletic version of Kiko Alonso. Yup I said it. Will be playing in the Senior Bowl.
Do not be surprised to see one or two of these kids in horns. If we go off history and Fisher does not draft an offensive lineman in rounds 1 or 2, do not be shocked if Kistler or Poehls gets a look on day 3. Linebackers are always in play and Brock should go in the middle of day 3. Tripp, well the world is going to get to see this kid in Mobile, this is a bad thing for the Rams. Jeff already knows about him, I would be thoroughly shocked if he isn’t swooped up in rounds 4-5. The amount of talent and potential this kid has is ridiculous.
As stated before I will do my annual "Small school list" but, I just wanted to get these 4 names out there. Go Griz and Go Rams!